New Genesis: A Reflective Conversation with Terri Hines, EVP of Communications at FOX Sports

New Genesis is an audio series where Nia Cross showcases Black women reporters and executives in the media and entertainment industry.

An image of Terri Hines in an orange plaid suit. Photo by FOX Sports.

Welcome to New Genesis, I’m your host Nia Cross. New Genesis is an audio series about the Black woman reporter and executive experience.

On today’s episode, we have a special guest, the Executive Vice President of Communications for Fox Sports, Terri Hines.

Thank you so much, Terri, for joining me today. My first question for you is where did it all begin? When did the inspiration of becoming a sports media executive first come to light? And did you aspire to have a career in sports as a child or young athlete?

HINES: Well, I always say your progression in and at least your progression in your career is not always a straight line, right? So I don’t know that early in my career, I set out to say, “I want to be the first Black sports executive head of communications for a sports television network.” I don’t know that that was my primary goal when I was younger or coming out of college. I’m going to take your second question, though, to ask about being an athlete. So I was a young athlete, I ran track growing up. And in my family, I’m the oldest of three, and in my family growing up as a requirement, you had to pick a sport and you had to pick an instrument. And I ran track just up until college. But my favorite brand of all time as an athlete was Nike. Having the opportunity to work for Nike after having worn their product on my feet and apparel clothing that I wore running as an athlete, it was the crème de la crème of an opportunity. Being an athlete definitely gave me a passion for sports.

Thank you for sharing that. That’s a beautiful testimony.

HINES: Thank you.

My next question for you is surrounding mentors and support. So mentors have a way of enhancing our perspective on life and existence. Chrysa Chin is someone whom you call a mentor. In what ways has Chrysa earned this title and empowered you in your personal and professional career?

HINES: Chrysa Chin is now the Chief Player Engagement Officer for the National Basketball Players Association. I think she kind of took me under her wing as a little sister and I adopted her. I was like, you’re not going to leave me, so here I am. So I kind of adopted her as a big sister. And she has given me so much wonderful advice. I consider her to be a mentor that has kept me on the path, helped me and taught me to remain steadfast in my approach and my belief in the work. Being a yes person is not being the best person for you or your organization. So I pride myself on being that type of leader that gives direct advice. I tell my organization or counsel my organization on what they need to hear, not necessarily what they want to hear. And you can take it or leave it. A lot of that thinking and confidence comes from her coaching and really giving me the confidence to sit in what I know.

In honor of Women’s History Month. I want to share with you really quickly a recording from a woman who I met at an extended family’s 90th birthday. And she’s dear to you. I want to know what having a woman like your California mom meant to you moving from the East Coast to the West Coast to start a career in entertainment.

HINES: [Laughter] Aww. She’s a gift. She’s definitely was God’s gift to me. I think when I moved here 20 years ago for the first time, without getting too spiritual in this conversation, God knew I needed someone to fill in the gap where, I didn’t have a ton of close friends and I didn’t have a church home at the time. My family unit was not here. I think this was God answering my prayer to let me know that it was going to be okay.

That’s a wrap for New Genesis. Thank you so much, Terri, for just taking the time to do this and to just create time for me.

HINES: It’s my honor. If I weren’t doing this interview, I have to give back into young women, young people, but especially young women of color. It’s my hope that any tidbit of my experience, maybe a nugget of what I shared, will leave a lasting impact for you and to make you the best Nia Cross ever. That’s part of who I am. And then hopefully, maybe someday someone’s going to want to sit in my shoes and do what I do or do what Chrysa Chin does or Pam Oliver or Joy Taylor. So many women of color whom I respect. Nicole Lynn. There’s so many women of color in sports who I can’t name everybody right now, but those are a sampling of women that I admire in this business of sports. And hopefully someone will aspire to walk in our shoes.

I know somebody will.

So stay tuned in for more of New Genesis.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Nia Cross.